Produced by Communion’s Ian Grimble, Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s debut album Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm is an entirely acoustic effort accompanied by the twenty-two- year olds whispery vocals – which sound similar to those of Australia’s Dan Kelly.
From beginning to end, the album’s lyrics feature recurring themes of breaking down emotionally and losing faith. Finding God in times of despair also seems to be a major theme in Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm.
Having every song tell a similar story would be bearable if the music itself wasn’t so similar. Because of this there is very little variety on Leftwich’s debut.
While Leftwich’s whispery vocals are nice, they begin to cause frustration as the listener begs for him to show some vocal range. Leftwich’s debut is also full of some nonsensical lyrics namely in tracks like ‘Pictures’ and ‘Butterfly Culture’ in which he repetitively sings “We play and we pray to god/but that girl in the dress will undress/ and distress you with the way she moves” .
Musically it is a nice effort, however its repetitive nature results in it becoming boring and even a little bit annoying. Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm plays it too safe and whilst Leftwich’s voice is nice and his diction is perfect, it is let down by the lyrics.
- Eva Dent
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